Page 90 of Hopeful Hearts

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“Hey, don’t talk to your mother like that.”

“My mother?” Austin flew around to face Robbie head on.

His jaw was locked tight and the vein in his neck pulsed as he seethed with red hot anger.

“The mother that gave me away, you mean? You’re a little late,Dad.” He spat the last word out as an accusation rather than the term of endearment it was supposed to be. “Like thirty-six years too late.”

“Austin, I know this must be difficult for you, but if you’ll just give us a chance to explain, then I think we could all find a way to move forward.”

“There’s nothing to explain. You didn’t want me then and there’s way too much water gone under the bridge for you to start wanting to make amends now. Whatever you were hoping for when you decided to come over here tonight, it’s not going to happen.”

Austin passed Sophia a look that left no uncertainty she’d majorly screwed up by going behind his back and inviting Mel and Robbie over.

“I always wanted you.” Mel choked out over a thick sob that tugged on Sophia’s heartstrings, but did nothing to warm Austin’s.

“Bullshit.” Austin strode across the room toward the door.

Mel fought back her sobs to get the words she needed to say out of her mouth. “Did you know I was only fourteen years old when I had you and even then, I wanted you?”

“Spare me the details,” he snarled as he walked past her.

She grabbed a hold of his hand and tugged lightly. Her eyes radiated a longing that anyone could read.

“No. If you’re going to walk out of here and never look back, then I think the details are important. Do with it what you will, but you deserve to know the truth.”

“She’s right, Austin. Why don’t you sit down and at least hear her out? Then you can go, knowing that you’ve got all the answers. You must have questions. Anyone in your situation would.” Brodie suggested.

Austin looked at Sophia. His jaw twitched, and he glanced at the exit. He pinched the top of his nose and inhaled a deep breath. “Fine. Shoot.”

Sophia let out a sigh of relief.

“Thank you,” Mel wept.

Robbie drew a tight line with his lips and nodded in Austin’s direction.

“Don’t get your hopes up. I’m still not going to want to play happy family after all this.”

“We don’t have any expectations of you, Austin. We just appreciate you giving us the time of day.” Robbie inhaled deeply and relaxed his shoulders.

Brodie and Sophia kept quiet and listened to the heart-breaking conversation that unfolded.


“What your mum–sorry–What Mel said was true,” Robbie started.

“She was fourteen when she had you. I was fifteen, and we thought we knew everything. We were naïve enough to think that everything would work out.”

Robbie’s voice trailed off.

“Susan and Bert knew before we did. Mel just thought she was piling on the pounds, but they knew and when they told us, we cried tears of joy. Of course, we didn’t think about any of the consequences. We were just a couple of love-struck kids,” Mel explained.

“By the time they told us, they had it all planned out. We swore to never tell a soul and Susan and Bert would raise you as their own,” Robbie finished.

“Are you saying they forced you into it?” Austin asked, without looking up at either of them.

Mel was quick to shake her head. “No. we had choices. It was either hand you over to them or agree to an abortion.”

“You can’t be serious.” Sophia chimed in. She was suddenly angry at her grandparents.

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